The Swan 53 (Mk 2) Sailboat
Specs & Key Performance Indicators

The Swan 53 Mk2, an aft cockpit sloop, was designed by German Frers and built in Finland by Nautor Swan. This is a later version of the 53 (of which 50 were built), which was also designed by German Frers, but to an entirely different design.

Swan 53 sailboat at anchor in Rodney Bay, St Lucia in the CaribbeanA Swan 53 Mk2

Published Specification for the Swan 53 Mk2

Underwater Profile: Bulb fin keel with spade rudder

Hull Material: GRP (fibreglass)

Length Overall: 54'1" (16.5m)

Waterline Length: 47'3" (14.4m)

Beam: 15'7" (4.8m)

Draft: 8'1" (2.4m)

Rig Type: Masthead sloop

Displacement: 48,501lb (22,000kg)

Designer: German Frers

Builder: Nautor Swan (Finland)

Year First Built: 2005

Year Last Built: 2009

Number Built: 20


Published Design Ratios for the Swan 53 Mk2

1. Sail Area/Displacement Ratio: 17.2

2. Ballast/Displacement Ratio: 37.3

3. Displacement/Length Ratio: 205

4. Comfort Ratio: 39.3

5. Capsize Screening Formula: 1.7

read more about these Key Performance Indicators...

Summary Analysis of the Design Ratios for the Swan 53 Mk2

1. A Sail Area/Displacement Ratio of 17.2 suggests that the Swan 53 will, in the right conditions, approach her maximum hull speed readily and satisfy the sailing performance expectations of most cruising sailors.

2. A Ballast/Displacement Ratio of 37.3 would usually mean that the Swan 53 would have a tendency to heel uncomfortably in a gust, and need to be reefed early to keep her sailing upright in a moderate breeze.

However, as she has much of her ballast concentrated in a bulb at the foot of her keel, she's likely to be considerably stiffer than her published Ballast/Displacement Ratio might suggest.

3. A Displacement/Length Ratio of 205, tells us the Swan 53 is a light-to-moderate displacement cruiser, which means she'll carry all your cruising gear without it having a dramatic effect on her performance. 

4. Ted Brewer's Comfort Ratio of 39.3 suggests that crew comfort of a Swan 53 in a seaway is similar to what you would associate with the motion of a moderate bluewater cruising boat - a predictable and acceptable motion for most seasoned sailors.

5. The Capsize Screening Formula (CSF) of 1.7 tells us that a Swan 53 would be a safer choice of sailboat for an ocean passage than one with a CSF of more than 2.0. 


Any Questions?

What is the difference between the original Swan 53 and the Swan 53 Mk2 (aka Swan 53.2)?

The original Swan 53 and the Swan 53.2 are two different designs by the same designer, German Frers, and the same builder, Nautor Swan. The original Swan 53 was launched in 1987 and had a production run of 50 hulls until 1995. The Swan 53.2 was launched in 2005 and had a production run of 20 hulls until 2009. The Swan 53.2 is a newer and more modern version of the Swan 53, with some differences in the hull shape, rig, keel, interior and equipment.

Some of the main differences between the original Swan 53 and the Swan 53.2 are:

  • The Swan 53.2 is slightly longer than the original Swan 53, with a length overall of 16.5m (54 ft) versus 16.2m (53 ft);
  • The Swan 53.2 has a plumb stem and a reverse transom, while the original Swan 53 has a raked stem and a conventional transom;
  • The Swan 53.2 has a fin keel with a bulb, while the original Swan 53 has a fin keel without a bulb. The original Swan 53 also has an optional keel/centreboard version that can reduce the draft from 3.1m (10.2 ft) to 2.3m (7.5 ft) or 3.6m (11.8 ft), while the Swan 53.2 does not have this option;
  • The Swan 53.2 has a sleeker and more elegant interior than the original Swan 53, with more wood trim, more natural light and more storage space.

Is the Swan 53.2 still in production and, if not, when did production end and how many of these sailboats were built?

No, the Swan 53.2 is not in production anymore. The last hull was built in 2009. A total of 20 Swan 53.2s were built between 2005 and 2009.

What, if any, alternative versions of the Swan 53.2 were built?

There were no alternative versions of the Swan 53.2, but it was developed into the Swan 54, using the same hull design.

How did the sailing press review the Swan 53.2?

The sailing press generally praised the Swan 53.2 for its quality, elegance, speed and handling. For example, Yachting World magazine described it as "a fast cruiser that offers an excellent balance between performance and comfort". Sail magazine called it "a beautiful boat that sails like a dream".

What do owners of the Swan 53.2 have to say about their boats?

Owners of the Swan 53.2 are usually very happy with their boats and often participate in Swan events and regattas around the world. They appreciate the boat's reliability, durability, safety and versatility. They also enjoy the boat's classic lines, spacious layout and fine craftsmanship. Some owners have shared their experiences and stories on websites such as www.swanowners.com and www.swan53.net.

What is the history of the builders of the Swan 53.2 and is the company still in business?

Nautor Swan is a Finnish company that was founded in 1966 by Pekka Koskenkylä, a visionary naval architect who wanted to create the best sailing yachts in the world. He partnered with Sparkman & Stephens, a famous American design firm, to produce the first Swan models, such as the Swan 36 and the Swan 65. In 1981, Nautor Swan started working with German Frers, an Argentinian designer who brought a new style and performance to the Swan range. The Swan 53.2 was one of the last models designed by Frers for Nautor Swan before he retired from his role as chief designer in 2014. The company is still in business today and continues to produce high-end sailing yachts ranging from 36 to 115 feet.

How many people can sleep on board a Swan 53.2?

The standard layout of the Swan 53.2 has four cabins: a master cabin aft with a double berth and an ensuite head, two guest cabins amidships with upper and lower berths each, and a crew cabin forward with two berths and an ensuite head. There is also a main saloon with a U-shaped settee and a dining table that can be converted into another double berth if needed. Therefore, the Swan 53.2 can sleep up to ten people, although eight would be more comfortable.

What is the Swan 53.2 like to sail?

The Swan 53.2 is a pleasure to sail in any conditions. It is fast, agile and responsive, yet stable, smooth and comfortable. It can handle light winds as well as strong breezes with ease and grace. It can sail close to the wind or reach at high speeds with minimal heel. It can also cope with rough seas and heavy weather with confidence and safety. It is well-balanced and easy to steer, both under sail and under power. It has a powerful engine that can push the boat at up to 9 knots when needed. It has a well-designed cockpit that offers good visibility, protection and ergonomics. It has a spacious deck that allows easy movement and access to all sailing functions.

What is the average cost of a secondhand Swan 53.2?

The average cost of a secondhand Swan 53.2 depends on many factors, such as the year, condition, equipment, location and market demand of the boat. However, based on some online listings, it can be estimated that a secondhand Swan 53.2 ranges from around $600,000 to $900,000 USD.

How does the Swan 53.2 compare to other sailboats in its class?

The Swan 53.2 is one of the most prestigious and respected sailboats in its class. It combines quality, performance, comfort and style in a way that few other boats can match. It is often compared to other high-end cruising yachts from brands such as Hallberg-Rassy, Oyster, Hylas, Moody and Amel. However, each boat has its own strengths and weaknesses, depending on the preferences and needs of the owner. Some may offer more space, more features, more customization or more affordability than the Swan 53.2, but none can surpass its reputation and legacy.

What other sailboats have been created by the designer of the Swan 53.2?

German Frers is one of the most prolific and successful yacht designers in history. He has created hundreds of sailboats for various clients, ranging from small dinghies to large superyachts. He has also designed many other models for Nautor Swan, such as the Swan 36, Swan 46, Swan 48, Swan 56, Swan 60 and Swan 90. Some of his other notable designs include the Wally Yachts, the Hylas Yachts, the Grand Soleil Yachts and the Hallberg-Rassy Yachts.

The above answers were drafted by sailboat-cruising.com using GPT-4 (OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model) as a research assistant to develop source material; to the best of our knowledge, we believe them to be accurate.


Other sailboats in the Nautor Swan range include:


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